I have as a rule refused to acquiesce to your requests (means I said no).
This decision has been driven by two things: (1) a desire not to render the rest of your existence flat, drab and unappealing by comparison to the glorious sunburst of life that a meeting with me would engender and (2) I’m rather skittish about meeting new people and despite the fake protestation of (1) above I am actually quite paranoid that I myself would come across as flat, drab and unappealing compared to the literary personality that inhabits this blog. I fear I would not live up to the easily obtainable personality goals I have set myself because no matter how low I set the bar I can almost always be relied upon to not quite reach it.
I live in fear of personality fail.
So this has meant a lot of flattering requests over the years (well, 2 that I can actually recall) and the same number of disappointing responses.
August of this year changed all that when quite out of the blue a fellow blogger turned up at my place of work having journeyed all the way from New Zealand. I must point out that an interview with me wasn’t the purpose of the trip, just an aside, as the blogger in question – Lady Mondegreen – had family and friends over here in the UK whom she’d long been planning to visit.
She’d written to me a few times asking how I would feel if she happened to drop in and see me. I did that English thing of responding positively because I harboured the suspicion that it was just never going to happen.
Well, suddenly it had and it was. And actually I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And unless Lady Mondegreen says different I don’t think I performed too badly. I think I met and perhaps even exceeded the bar. We had a pub lunch and a damned good chat and it genuinely was like meeting an old friend. All very relaxed and easy and wonderfully life affirming. It proved that being open to new experiences and opportunities can be an enlivening philosophy and is to be recommended. Though I must here point out that all thoughts of love hotels and passionate bins were eschewed.
Lady Mondegreen is now back in New Zealand and neither of us appears to have been permanently scarred by our encounter. And so, heady with the bravado of success I feel the urge to extend an open invitation to all my regular readers. If you’re ever in the area and want to say hello – a quick coffee and a bite to eat, whatever’s your poison – then do feel free to drop me a line and make it a date.
I don’t bite. I make some effort toward entertaining conversation. I will try to be urbane and debonair. And I promise to keep my animal magnetism under control (but do keep me away from the pub bins just in case).
Possibly the most "British" approach to meeting people and dealing with the aftermath I have ever read :)
I've gone and dug out a hat just so I can put it on and take it off to you sir. Pip pip!
Alex: much obliged to you, sir, much obliged!
Aw, isn't that lovely. I have met lots of other bloggers but usually at a blogger event which isn't the same as an intimate pub lunch. But I have met one or two under those circumstances and the experience has always been great. I think if you click with someone online then chances are you will in real life too, unless one of you is pretending!
Trish: not to late to mention that my real name is Patricia, is it?
We have met on many occasions...you just didn't know it.
You have met and exceeded the bar on the majority trusts however there was that one time....ah but that would be churlish of me.
Nah not really, but imagine if it was true eh? One of my irregular visitors was one of my students on a short course I ran...but didn't reveal herself until after the course ended. It was a bit wierd to say the least...glad the unveiling took place after not before.
was she Disappointed much? Probably!
Joe: please tell me you weren't the lady in high heels and low cut top who had the weird thing about Müller Crunch Corner...!?
OMG that's so brave, I do lot's of 'oh we must meet' noises and then hope it'll never happen or feign my own death as a good reason for it not to happen, like you say for fear I'm just a drab bore really. So Steve, we really must meet up .....
Ah, how lovely, you've become a tourist attraction for visiting bloggers! It can't be long before you're listed in the guidebooks as one of England's native beardies, well worth a visit after a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. I hope you'll rise to the challenge by dressing in minstrel's costume.
She's a nice lass
......and I never got a photo!
K Ville: you can't be more of a drab bore than me. I'll pencil you in for next Friday.
Gorilla Bananas: I have a cap and bells already hung up in the wardrobe.
John: she told me she was on her way to see you next. Hope you had as good a time as I did!
I'm glad it went so well...but anyone who follows your blog regularly is past the stage of shock and awe...we get that in nearly every post....
especially posts for which you need the password....so the ice has been broken before you start.
I met a couple of fellow bloggers last year in France.
They didn't make an excuse and leave so I think it went off all right...
The fly in the web: that's the standard by which I judge the success of these things - if the other person doesn't escape by climbing out of the toilet window then it has gone well. Of course, it could just mean that the establishment has fitted iron grills to the windows...
I'm so glad for you both......and if I hadn't been away on holiday it would have been a 3some...........
Be careful what you wish for... Sme of us bloggers want to be friends for life! Lady Mondegreen seems like a real angel, such a gentle soul. What a lovely surprise.
I never say 'we must meet one day/catch up' unless I truly mean it. I've made a few new friends in the past 4 yrs through blogging who are definite keepers. And all that noise I make about wanting to meet not just you but Karen as well is no feigned nicety (not on my part)!
So the feeling's mutual. If you're ever in town....
You always rebuffed my attempts to meet with you! Now I'm seldom in the Leamington area these days. : - (
Seriously I met a wonderful blogger called Phil (aka Steerforth of AgeofUncertainty) from Lewes who is as gentlemanly and gracious in real life as he is as a writer and makes the most wonderful Ladybird book pastiches explaining the modern world to children. My new(ish) partner is also a blogger - Oliver from Oliver's Poetry Garrett. Admiring each other's blogs was part of the beginning of our love story!
Libby: my, I've never had one of those before...
Being Me: one day, my friend, one day - and I truly mean that. I am always careful what I wish for and meeting you and yours is at the very top of my wishlist.
Laura: you were one of the bloggers I was referring to in this piece. Ah Laura, what I fool I was. A young, naïve, devilishly handsome fool! Should you ever return to Leamo I won't refuse you again!
So when you say just drop in...is that all terribly English too?
I will make my way to the UK one day. And when I do... yeah, you better be wearing your suavest sweater and have a pen ready for autographs.
I really think you should be added to the Lonely Planet guide as a tourist attraction. Yup.
The start of the slippery slope. Good God man you'll be inviting her to Christmas lunch next.
You both look appropriately bemused.
Nota Bene: terribly, terribly.
Dara: my suavest sweater and my cleanest underpants, that's a promise.
Marginalia: what the hell, there's usually enough stuffing for everyone.
I've met a couple of fellow bloggers, it's been fun as well as unusual, as we knew more about each other than most people meeting for the first time.
Glad your meeting was successful.
Suburbia: I guess that's it in a nutshell - meeting someone that you've never met but that you kind of know.
Better late than never She says. I have not looked at mine or anyone else's blog since the night I arrived home - till now - for interesting and dramatic and even tragic reasons. Your photo is far better than mine. Must send John Gray the nice portrait I took of him as Gentleman Farmer. Libby had better not head off on her holiday next time I come to RLS and I think your Turkish Bath was a delightful pre-prandial meeting place. It's probably already in The Lonely Planet Guide ;-)
Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: sounds like you have had stuff to deal with - sending all good wishes your way. And we must meet up again! Who knows? I may even make it over to NZ one day. Do you have any Turkish Baths?
Maybe a Turkish bath house could be our joint venture once you emigrate - or immigrate.
Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: if you think there's a viable market I'll start packing right now.
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